By Metohuey Michael Adoglo
Nigeria will be without top scorer in the qualifiers Victor Osimhen, Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis and 2019 AFCON top scorer Odion Ighalo, while Egypt will not have Mohamed Abogabal and Ibrahim Adel available after both tested positive for COVID-19.
The rivalry between the two sides dates as far back as 1960, when Nigeria secured a 2-1 friendly victory in their first encounter at the National Stadium, Lagos.
Both sides have since gone on to clash on 18 occasions with Nigeria setting the pace with eight victories, losing five with another five draws.
The Super Eagles are one of the most successful nations on the continent following their last triumph back in 2013, when they narrowly defeated Burkina Faso side 1-0 courtesy of Sunday Mba’s stunner, to claim the AFCON title for the third time.
While the Eagles, who finished third at the 2019 edition of the football showpiece in Africa, will be seeking their fourth title, the Pharaohs will look to conquer the continent for a record-extending eighth time.
Egypt’s last AFCON title win was back in 2010 when they saw off Ghana 1-0 courtesy of Mohamed Nagy’s 85th-minute strike in the final and will be eager to start the campaign on a positive note.